Austro-Hungarian Army

Austro-Hungarian Army

The Austro-Hungarian Army was the ground force of the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy (1867 - 1918). It was composed of the common army (k.u.k. Armee - recruited from everywhere), the Austrian Landwehr (recruited only from Cisleithania), and the Hungarian Honvédség (recruited only from Transleithania).

The official names in German were:

* regiments of the common army were "Imperial and Royal" - "kaiserlich und königlich" (k.u.k.)/"Császári és Királyi"
* Austrian Landwehr regiments were "Imperial/Royal" - "kaiserlich/königlich" (k.k.) that stands for Imperial Austrian / Royal Bohemian (kaiserlich österreichisch/königlich böhmisch) or "császári/királyi"
* Hungarian Honvéd regiments, or "Honvédség," were "Royal Hungarian" - "königlich ungarisch" (kgl. ung.) /"Magyar Királyi"

The k.u.k. or common army was organized after the establishment of the Austro-Hungarian Dual Monarchy in 1867 and existed until the end of World War I in 1918. Prior to 1867, Austria's ground forces were those of the Austrian Empire named k.k. for kaiserlich, königlich. The Hungarian military (light cavalry, infantry, and artillery) waged a successful War of Independence against the imperial army from 1848 until its surrender to the Czarist army dispatched to help out the kaiserlich army in 1849. After the surrender, the Hungarian units were either disbanded or dislocated and national Hungarian military units could not be organized again until the 1867 Ausgleich, or Compromise.In terms of the Compromise, the Imperial and Royal (k. und k.) units had the priority of training and access to the new equipment; the Landwehr and the Honvédség had only inferior equipment. The long standing white colour for infantry uniforms was replaced with a dark blue one which would remain the standard for subsequent decades until a pike grey uniform, to be used during World War I, was introduced in 1909. Serving in the Honvédség or even the Landwehr had little prestige among the officers and the best trained ones could be found in the k.u.k. army. The units of the Honvédség, on the other hand, had the full combat strength only in war-time periods, when the empty places were filled with reserves. The last surviving member of the Austro-Hungarian army was Franz Künstler, who died in age of 107 in Germany.

The Austro-Hungarian Land Forces in July 1914

* 30,000 Officers
* 410,000 NCOs and troops
* 87,000 horses (estimate)
* 1,200 guns in the field artillery

After the war was declared, 3.35 million men (including the first call up of the reserves and the 1914 recruits) gathered for action.

The common Army (k.u.k. - kaiserlich und königlich) as of July 1914

*16 Corps
*49 Infantry Divisions - 76 Infantry Brigades - 14 Mountain Brigades
*8 Cavalry Divisions - 16 Cavalry Brigades
*102 Infantry Regiments (four battalions each) - 4 "Bosnisch-Hercegowinische" (Bosnian-Herzegowian) Infantry regiments (four battalions each)
*4 Imperial Tyrolian Rifles Regiments ("Tiroler Kaiserjäger") (four battalions each)
*32 Rifles-Battalions (Feldjäger) - 1 Bosnian-Herzegowian Rifles Battalion ("Bosnisch-Hercegowinisches Feldjäger Bataillon")
*42 Field Artillery Regiments (Feldkanonen-Regimenter) - 14 Field Howitzer Regiments (Feldhaubitz-Regimenter)
*11 Mounted Artillery Battalions ("originally named Reitende Artillerie Division") - 14 Heavy Howitzer Battalions (originally named" schwere Haubitz-Division")
*11 Mountain Artillery Regiments ("Gebirgsartillerie Regimenter")
*6 Fortress Artillerie Regiments ("Festungsartillerie Regimenter") - 8 independent Fortress Artillery Battalions ("selbst. Festungsartillerie Bataillone")
*15 Regiments of Dragoons (Dragoner) - 16 Regiments of Hussars (Husaren) - 11 Regiments of Lancers (Ulanen)

*16 Transportation Battalions (Train)
*23 Engineers Battalions ("Sappeure/Pioniere") - 1 Bridge Construction Battalion ("Brücken Bataillon") - 1 Railroad Regiment ("Eisenbahn-Regiment") - 1 Signal Regiment ("Telegraphen-Regiment")

k.k. Landwehr (kaiserlich österreichisch/königlich böhmisch)

*35 Landwehr Infantry Regiments - 3 battalions each (Landwehr Infanterie-Regimenter)
*6 Landwehr Regiments of Lancers
*8 Landwehr Field Artillery Battalions (Feldkanonen) - 8 Landwehr Field Howitzer Battalions (Feldhaubitz)

The Mountain Infantry with the following units:
*2 Landwehr Mountain Infantry Regiments (Gebirgsinfanterie-Regimenter) No. 4 and No. 27
*3 Tyrolian Fusiliers Regiments (Tiroler Landesschützen Regimenter) - since January 1917 named "Kaiserschützen"
*1 Mounted Tyrolian Fusiliers Battalion (Reitende Tiroler Landesschützen)
*1 Mounted Dalmatian Fusiliers Battalion (Reitende Dalmatiner Landesschützen)

k.u. Honvéd (königlich ungarische Landwehr)

*6 k.u. Honvéd Landwehr Districts (Distrikte)
*2 k.u. Honvéd Infantry Divisions (Infanterie Truppendivisionen)
*2 k.u. Honvéd Cavalry Divisions (Kavallerie Truppendivisionen)
*4 k.u. Honvéd Infantry Brigades (Infanteriebrigaden) - 12 independent k.u. Honvéd Infantry Brigades
*4 k.u. Honvéd Cavalry Brigades (Kavalleriebrigaden)
*32 Honvéd Infantry Regiments (Infanterie-Regimenter)
*10 Honvéd Regiments of Hussars (Husaren-Regimenter)
*8 Honvéd Field Artillery Regiments (Feldkanonen Regimenter) - 1 Honvéd Mounted Artillery Battalion (Reitende Artillerie Abteilung)

The infantry regiments of the k.u.k. Army had four battalions each, the infantry regiments of the k.k. and k.u. Landwehr had three battalions each, except the 3rd Regiment of the Tiroler Landesschützen, that had also four battailons.

In 1915 the units which had nicknames or names of honor lost them by order of the war ministry. Thereafter units were designated only by number.


The k.u.k. Infanterie-Regiment "Hoch- und Deutschmeister" Nr. 4 changed to "Infanterie-Regiment Nr. 4"

Medals of Honor (Example)

Medals of Honor of a "Zugsführer" (Staff-Sergeant) of the 2nd Regiment of the Tyrolian Imperial Rifles (later transferred to the 30th High Mountain Company)

:he saw action at:
* Galicia
* the Carpathian Mountains (Romania - Hungaria eastern border area.)
* Col di Lana - Austria-Italian border
* Monte Piano - Austria-Italian border
* bei Lafraun (Lavarone/seven communities area) - Austria-Italian border
* Monte Pasubio - Austria-Italian border
* Sextner Dolomiten Mountains - Austria-Italian border
* Ortler Mountain - Austria-Italian border
* Hohe Schneid (Ortler Massiv) - Austria-Italian border
* Tonale Paß (Adamello - Presanella Massiv) - Austria-Italian border
* Cima Presena (Mountain (Adamello - Presanella Massiv) - Austria-Italian border
* Busazza Mountain (Adamello - Presanella Massiv) - Austria-Italian border

:He has been honored with the following Medals :
* the Silver Medal of Bravery 1st Class (Kaiser Karl I. / after January 1917)
* the Silver Medal of Bravery 2nd Class (Kaiser Karl / after January 1917)
* the Bronze Medal of Bravery Emperor Franz Joseph / before January 1917)
* the Karl-Cross (for a minimum of 12 weeks in active fight)
* the Casualty Medal (after January 1917) (wounded on 9/20/1918 at the Zigolon Mountain near the Adamello)
* the Medal of Honor of the State of Tyrol to its defenders



The ranks displayed after the "/" are the Hungarian equivalents of the Austrian ranks, since they were used in this format in the Magyar Királyi Honvédség (Royal Hungarian Home Defence Forces).

Types of uniforms


*Das "K.u.k. Heer" Schriften des Heeresgeschichtlichen Museums in Wien by Oskar Brüch and Günter Dirrheimer (Vienna/Austria) Edited by Leopold Stocker Graz/Austria 1997 ISBN 3-7020-0783-0
*Heinz von Lichem: "Spielhahnstoß und Edelweiß". Stocker Verlag, Graz 1977
*Heinz von Lichem: "Der Tiroler Hochgebirgskrieg 1915 - 1918". Steiger Verlag, Berwang (Tirol) 1985
*Julius Lohmeyer "Das Militär Bilderbuch - Die Armeen Europas" Carl Flemming Verlag, Glogau o.J.
*Allmeyer-Beck/Lessing: "Die K.u.K. Armee 1848-1918". Bertelsmann, München 1974
*Rest-Ortner-Ilmig: "Des Kaisers Rock im 1. Weltkrieg". Verlag Militaria, Wien 2002
*Georg Schreiber "Des Kaisers Reiterei" Verlag Kremayr&Scheriau, Wien 1967

ee also

*Organisation of the Austro-Hungarian Land Forces (German)
*List of Austro-Hungarian field marshals
*Austro-Hungarian First Army in World War I
*Comparative military ranks of World War I
*Army Slav

External links

* [ Austro-Hungarian Army, by Glenn Jewison & Jörg C. Steiner]
* [ Austro-Hungarian Military Ranks at]
* [ Generals of Austria and Hungary, 1816-1918] de icon

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